While birding in the Technoparc on Canada Day we happened upon two strange insects together in a wooded area. Sitting immobile on some leaves they looked, for all the world, like bird droppings.

It took a while to sort them out – they are “Wood-nymph” moths (Eudryas spp). I am not sure as to which of two possible species they might be as in their non-flying status they both fold up (ruffle) their wings to imitate bird-drppings and thus make themselves unpalatable to birds and the like that might see them as a potential meal. It’s a very convincing disguise.

The possibilities are Eudryas unio (Pearly Wood-nymph) and Eudryas grata (Beautiful Wood-nymph). Having carefully considered the images, I tend towards Eudryas grata.

With their wings opened they look like the moths they really are … I tracked down an image and include it below for reference.

Range maps indicate that this sighting is very much at, or even outside, the northern limits of its territory. There are a few records in eaastern Ontario but mostly they are found south of the border in the eastern USA.

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Eudryas grata

Eudryas grata

Eudryas unio